Pinnacle, known as Pinnacle Sports until a rebrand on June 1st 2016, is our top-ranked bookmaker. That doesn’t mean that we think it is a flawless operation, but we do believe it is better than all the alternatives.
In some regards Pinnacle’s business model is very different from most European-facing bookmakers. Pinnacle is a “market making” bookmaker, and as market making bookmakers tends to focus mostly on volume and to a lesser degree on margin, Pinnacle won’t try to get rid of customers that would be considered undesirable to “retail” bookmakers.
This “winner’s welcome” policy means that whether you’re engaged solely in arbitrage or are a proven long-term profitable punter, Pinnacle will not curtail your betting limits or use other means to try and get rid of you. Rather, they will welcome your activity and try to use it to sharpen their prices.
Pinnacle have displayed a near endless amount of banners proclaiming that they have the highest limits and the best value odds. The truth is somewhat more nuanced: their limits tend to increase and their margins decrease as the starting time of the event moves closer. Even though their betting limits for major sports and leagues can be very high shortly before kick-off, their limits – even for the most mainstream events – are often somewhat unimpressive some days before the event.
This “winner’s welcome” policy means that whether you’re engaged solely in arbitrage or are a proven long-term profitable punter, Pinnacle will not curtail your betting limits or use other means to try and get rid of you.
Pinnacle will have several events with a hold percentage around only 2%, but it’s not uncommon to see English Premier League 1x2 markets with more than a 3% hold, even on the day of the match. This is far from market leading and uncompetitive when compared to the likes of Matchbook. It’s also surprising that Pinnacle’s theoretical hold seems to be on the increase.
For minor betting sports and leagues, the amount of odds offered, limits and hold percentage aren’t always the best out there. Some sports have a 7% default hold and we have on several occasions seen H2H odds with some 10% hold.
Because Pinnacle allows you to re-place your bet multiple times, it is possible to hit their wagering limits more than once for any given bet. This can even be done at similar odds if another Pinnacle customer bets on the opposite outcome to you.
On that note, some people think that Pinnacle resembles a betting exchange, with the aim of encouraging customers to bet against each other while pocketing a small margin per action. Considering this business model, and the fact that it is difficult to obtain liquidity on smaller sports and leagues, it’s a clear positive that Pinnacle have odds available for such minor interests too – albeit with unimpressive wagering limits in many cases.
The reality is that Pinnacle and betting exchanges are among the few places professional punters can turn to when they have been turned away by most other bookmakers.
A question you could ask yourself if you’re a recreational punter is whether you feel comfortable betting with companies who are only interested in doing business with you for as long as they’re confident that you’re a long-term loser. If your answer to that question is ‘no’ because you believe such behaviour is unethical, Pinnacle is the company for you because it is one of the few bookmakers that does not engage in such practices.
Pinnacle could do a better job of making a product for the marginal betting sports they’re catering to – it should not be hard to have more odds available earlier. However, it is notable that Pinnacle is the market leader for one sport that many used to consider a marginal betting sport, namely Esports.
As Pinnacle is a low-margin operator they have imposed a turnover requirement of three times your deposit. You’re obviously free to withdraw your funds at any time but are liable to be charged for the payment fees – which can be sizeable – if you have failed to turn over your deposit three times.
Pinnacle has very fast pay-outs and support. The support is most of the time adequate, however if you should have a complicated or uncommon question, the quality of the answers can be shocking.
Their headquarters are in the Caribbean island of Curacao, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They are licensed by the Curacao Gaming Control Board, which was removed from the UK whitelist in 2014. Pinnacle also obtained a Maltese license from the MGA in March 2015 and a Swedish license in late 2019.
We think Pinnacle should be able to have more generous theoretical payback percentages, in particular for the most mainstream leagues and markets, where they are not competitive if measured against as an example Matchbook. Pinnacle should be able to launch more generous odds, with larger betting limits for the obscure sports and markets in a timelier manner, make far less mistakes with the athlete’s names for such sports and result such sports and markets much faster than they do. The support’s answers, should you have a difficult and urgent question, leaves a lot to be desired.
In our opinion Pinnacle is the very worst bookmaker, except for all the others that we have ever tried.
We strongly recommend you sign up and make an account with Pinnacle!
Last edit at: 2020.04.22
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